36 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
114 W 61st St, New York, NY 10023
Mother Earth Book Shop, 4 Jones St, New York, NY 10014
Oakwood Cemetery Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, USA
Stella Cominsky Ballantine (March 16, 1886 – August, 1961) was a member of the Heterodoxy Club. She was the niece, secretary and lifelong supporter of Emma Goldman.
Stella (Estella) Cominsky/Comyn/Commins was born on March 16, 1886, in Upper Falls, Rochester, Monroe County, New York. She was the daughter of Samuel Commins (1858-1943) and Lena Zodikow (1862-1950), sister of Emma Goldman. Her siblings are Miriam Commins, Harry L Commins, Saxe (Israel/Isidore) Commins, Louis Cominsky and Ruth Commins.
She married Edward James Ballantine (1887-1968) and had two sons, Ian Keith Ballantine (1916-1995, married Elizabeth "Betty" Norah (1919-2019)) and David Ballantine (1926-2005).
Stella Ballantine was a stalwart activist and a member of the No-Conscription League. She was also an active member and founder of the Provincetown Players (1916) with her actor and director husband Edward (Teddy) Ballantine. Comyn spoke at the 4 June 1917 No-Conscription meeting and served on the advisory board of the League for the Amnesty of Political Prisoners.
Following Goldman's incarceration in July 1917, Comyn acted as Goldman’s primary confidant and contact, through regular correspondence, sending her requested items and by visiting her in early June 1918. Comyn also aided Goldman by conducting her extra-legal correspondence and, with Carl Newlander, editing and publishing Mother Earth Bulletin, as well as operating the Mother Earth Book Shop. In April 1918, the Mother Earth Bulletin was barred from the mail, after which Comyn published one issue of the newsletter, Instead of A Magazine (June 1918), a circular updating subscribers on the cessation of the Mother Earth Bulletin as well as the imprisoned status of Goldman. In February 1918, Comyn and Newlander established the Mother Earth Book Shop on 4 Jones Street in New York City. Comyn ran the shop until July 1918 when it closed due to financial failure. In May 1919, Comyn took up secretarial work for Kate Richard O'Hare's defense at Goldman's behest. Throughout the winter of 1919, she also oversaw much of the final preparations for Goldman's departure. In her will, Goldman bequeathed her personal library to Comyn and her brother Saxe Commins, and deeded her farm in Ossining, New York to Stella's son, Ian Ballantine.
At the end of the 1910s, Ballantine lived at 36 Grove Street, New York, where also Goldman resided for a time. Later she lived at West 61st Street.
Ballantine died on July 31, 1961, in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York.
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